Still, they’re certainly working their way up the food chain: The next subjects for spinal severance will be dogs, with the ultimate goal being to try and repair a severed human’s spinal cord. This is effectively one step away from a head transplant, although there is a gargantuan gap of knowledge in-between these two operations.
You can’t just lop off a person’s head and glue it onto another body. The clashing immune systems of the head and body would be devastating. There is no evidence that the nervous systems of the head and the body would link up effectively; likewise for the digestive tract, the respiratory system, and the circulatory system.
“Once I attach a new body, I fully expect the head and body to adapt to each other,” Canavero told LiveScience back in 2015 in a bizarrely cavalier manner. That is quite the expectation.
This latest paper doesn’t even involve the decapitation of rats, just a break in their spines. The two are very different things – and some are even doubting the veracity of the new study itself, claiming the spine wasn’t even properly severed.
In any case, at this rate, you’d expect the first human head transplant to be ages away – at least a century, according to some experts. But no – it’s scheduled for this December. It was originally going to be performed on a Russian man with a rare motor neuron disease, but it will now involve a Chinese national instead.
Mark our words: this will not happen, or it will and it will be a total shambles. A working human head transplant is not mere months away.